MANILA - Senatorial aspirant and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno on Tuesday said he would support "constitutional" mandatory vaccination for certain sectors as he called for new leaders to head the country's pandemic response.
Diokno said he encourages "everyone to get vaccinated", saying "we really need to have herd immunity."
He added that he would support the mandatory vaccination law for certain sectors such as government workers, teachers "provided of course that its crafted in a way that's constitutional."
"As long as it is crafted in a way that does not conflict with the Constitution, I would be for any kind of measure that would help us get out of this pandemic and into a new normal," he told ANC's Headstart.
"That national law must pass the strict scrutiny test. There must be a compelling state interest and it should be the least restrictive means."
The country also needs "better science-based and evidence-based driven" policymakers, Diokno said.
"We have really good IT experts, health experts kaya lang they haven’t really been maximized by our government," he said.
"Ever since the start of the pandemic we've had issues about the length of lockdowns, contact tracing systems, the lack of equipment for mass testing. Now we have issues as well as to how we’re going to deal with this new surge."
Agencies, including the Department of Health, need "better managers," Diokno said.
"We need more accountability and transparency. Remember our government agencies are not operating on their own budget. They're operating on taxpayers' money," he said.
The DOH had faced scrutiny from the Senate after the Commission on Audit flagged billions of funds transferred to the Department of Budget and Management to procure substandard medical equipment such as face shields.